Technology is a valuable tool for many individuals. But many people are wondering whether technology is good or bad for people who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
“The very nature of ADHD implies that the child will have difficulty with self-control, paying attention, listening to instructions at home and school, and following directions.” Kara Tamanini, M.S., LMHC explained. People who have ADHD tend to be impulsive, hyperactive, and inattentive to such a degree that it interferes with their daily lives. They tend to squirm and fidget. They are not comfortable trying to stay still for long. They are often impatient.
They often make mistakes because they have difficulty paying attention to details. They have a hard time maintaining their focus even during conversations. They are easily distracted. And they often fail to finish assignments or tasks.
Advantages Of Technology For People With ADHD
Technology can be beneficial to adults and children who are suffering from ADHD (read further in FamilyHype’s Xbox 360 Games for Boys page). People who have ADHD usually have difficulty paying attention to details, completing tasks, in an organization, and in managing their time. This makes it hard for them to complete projects or to meet deadlines at work or in school. “They live their lives immersed in technology, surrounded by cell phones, computers, videogames, digital music players and video cams,” Sheldon said. “We need to understand not just how they use these new tools, but how they are affected by them. Topics such as cyber bullying, addiction to cyber porn, and overall addiction to Internet games are something we need to study more.” UA Huntsville psychologist Pavica Sheldon elaborates.
There are computer software and apps that can assist people who have ADHD fight distraction. These software and apps can also help these individuals to stay organized and to achieve their goals.
Children who have ADHD can use electronic timers to help them stay on schedule as they work. The use of technology inside the classroom resulted in children who have ADHD being less distracted.
In a study involving students who have ADHD from the third grade and the fourth grade, it was determined that improved performance in mathematics resulted from the use of computer-assisted instruction in mathematics.
Using alerts on computers and phones can assist adults in being on time for meetings and in shifting mental gears and doing another task. Alerts can be used to allocate periods for specific activities such as writing memos or responding to emails. This helps prevent adults from hyper-focusing on only one activity.
“There is also little doubt that all of the new technologies, led by the Internet, are shaping the way we think in ways obvious and subtle, deliberate and unintentional, and advantageous and detrimental.” That is according to Jim Taylor Ph.D. Technology can help individuals who have ADHD meet their deadlines. It increases their productivity and improves their focus. But only if the technology is used correctly.
People with ADHD can also take advantage of online counseling apps like BetterHelp to better attend to their needs. With the use of technology and social media, professional help has been made more accessible for them.
Disadvantages Of Technology For People With ADHD
The use of technology is increasing, whether it is for personal use or whether it is inside the classroom. Many people are wondering if technology is a distraction for people who have ADHD.
In a study involving fifty children aged between six and sixteen years old in which twenty-nine of the children have ADHD, it was discovered that the children who have ADHD showed more problems when they play video games. The study also showed that children who have ADHD are at higher risk of becoming dependent on video games.
In a study of five hundred thirty-five students in elementary school, it was determined that there is a significant correlation between the severity of ADHD symptoms and the intensity of addiction to the internet. The study indicates that those who exhibit the symptoms of ADHD, such as impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and inattention, are at higher risk of becoming addicted to the internet.
It is recommended to set periods that are free of technology such as during meals and family celebrations. It is also recommended to specify areas where technology should not be used, such as in the bedroom or outdoor spaces.
People who have ADHD can also use apps and computer software to shut down their tablets and phones at scheduled times automatically. They can also set their mobile devices to the do-not-disturb mode during the technology-free periods.